Alaska Airlines Is Eliminating Check-In Kiosks as Part of $2.5 Billion Transformation

Alaska Airlines Is Eliminating Check-In Kiosks as Part of $2.5 Billion Transformation

by Mia Taylor
on April 19, 2023
Last updated: 4:35 PM ET, Wed April 19, 2023

Alaska Airlines new lobby transformation

A rendering of the Alaska Airlines lobby transformation (Photo Credit: Courtesy Alasks Airlines)

Alaska Airlines is investing $2.5 billion over the next three years in a sweeping new effort to improve and enhance the airport experience for travelers at its hub cities.

The airline’s goal is to eliminate those maddening airport lines and get travelers through the lobby and to the security gate in an ambitious five minutes or less. The use of mobile technology (similar to that used to access sporting events and concerts) will be a central part of the new airport experience.

“The first step starts at home (or work or while you’re waiting in the school pick-up line) on the Alaska Airlines app,” the airline said in a press release about the upcoming renovations. “Guests are encouraged to check-in and secure a boarding pass before coming to the airport.”

Guests can also check-in on a desktop and send a boarding pass to their phone or print one at home. At the airport meanwhile, new bag tag stations will replace dated Alaska Airlines kiosks in lobbies. At these kiosks, travelers will tag and pay for checked bags using iPad tablets. This part of the process is expected to take only a few minutes for travelers who completed the flight check-in process at home.

Some airport locations have already begun changing to the new tablets and most are expected to complete the transition by the end of 2023. Beginning in spring 2024, lobbies in Alaska Airlines’ hub airports will receive still more new technology, this time designed to allow travelers to drop off their bags with a few quick scans.

Alaska Airlines new lobby transformation

The new lobby transformation for Alaska Airlines will include self-service bag tagging kiosks (Photo Credit: Courtesy Alasks Airlines)

“The machine will scan your face, government-issued I.D., and bags,” the airline said in a statement. “From there, it will take your bag(s) on a belt to be loaded onto the aircraft. The process takes less than a couple minutes and we will have you on your way to security.”

While all of this may sound like a breeze for travelers who own smartphones, it’s still likely that some travelers will need assistance now and then at the airport. Alaska Airlines said it will still have customer service agents available, even after all the new technology is in place.

“We have heard from many guests that the best way we can care for them is by offering self-service options. This transformation gives you the choice between getting through the lobby quickly or receiving personalized help,” said the airline.

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